Car for Out-Of-State student - How to handle Registration and Insurance?

My son is currently in his Sophomore year at UCF. He has lived without a car for the first 1 1/2 years, but is now applying for off campus internships. It is very likely he will need a car to be able to get to and from the internships. However, I am trying to figure out the best way to register and insure the car.

Right now he is still on our insurance as an “away at college student”. (We have current have 3 cars with 4 drivers). I am confused on the best way to register and insure the car (and I am not sure what the insurance company will allow.)

Option 1: Buy/Register the car in IL and add it to our current insurance. Since he still maintains an IL DL, he is still considered an IL resident. However, he will likely NOT be coming home over the summer, so he will be spending 11+ months in FL.

Option 2: Buy/Register the car FL and buy a new insurance. That would require him to get a FL DL. Plus, being an unmarried male under 25, the insurance would be astronomically high.

How have other parents dealt with this?

You might have to address this with your insurance company. My last company couldn’t/wouldn’t package different states. FL tends to be its own animal for personal lines, so you may not be able to include it on your policy.

I would try to register it in IL, keep it on your current policy with a garage location of FL.

I would recommend you talk to your insurance company. States have different laws regarding when they require a vehicle to be registered in their state. My understanding though is if the car is in your name and it’s for a dependent child, you can continue to carry them on your insurance but again, best to talk to your insurance agent to discuss the options.

Right…ask your insurance company.

Ours was perfectly fine with us letting a college student use our car out of state. We let them know where the car would be. And our kid didn’t come home in the summers either.

Our son has a car registered to us, with plates in our home state and on our insurance. The only tricky thing is he has to make sure to get it inspected in our state annually.

I agree that a call to your insurance company is in order as rules may vary by state. However, both of our kids took a car out of state for college/grad school and we did keep the car licensed, registered, and insured at our home both times. We we’re sure to have the state inspection done over the summer when they were home (we did the inspection early one year to get on that schedule).

Agree to call insurance company. It was okay to have DD’s car registered to DH and I out of state, but the rates were higher while it was at her rural college and we notified insurer of whether car was home or at school. If car will be parked on resident parking only streets, some cities require that the car be registered to local resident to receive parking sticker or placard.

It works, but requirements vary.

Yes, most car insurance companies understand this situation and are familiar with each states’ specific laws. This is definitely a question that your insurance company can handle.

We keep the cars insured in our name and in our state if the car is not in town for an inspection before registration is due all we need to do is go in person and claim the car is out of state at school. They just take our word for it but say inspection is due within three days of returning to the state. I could have mailed it in but it is easier to do in person and have never had a hassle.

I had looked online and it said to complete a form but they didn’t even look at it and said it wasn’t necessary. So I would check your states website about procedures to do this.

My daughter lives in Florida and we co-own her car. It was a better interest rate because of my credit score, and better insurance rate because she is a second policy from Liberty Mutual. Registering a car in Florida is easy, just expensive ($450 for plates the first time). Her insurance did go up $50/mo when she moved from her smaller college town to a city, and that sucked.

There are millions of OOS plates in Florida because of the snowbirds, military, and college students.

We also own the car ds has at college in another state. It was cheaper to insure him under our policy. It’s just a 3rd car. The insurance company is well aware the car is in another state.

Sec. 6-102. What persons are exempt. The following persons are exempt from the requirements of Section 6-101 and are not required to have an Illinois drivers license or permit if one or more of the following qualifying exemptions are met and apply:

  1. Any employee of the United States Government or any member of the Armed Forces of the United States, while operating a motor vehicle owned by or leased to the United States Government and being operated on official business need not be licensed;
  2. A nonresident who has in his immediate possession a valid license issued to him in his home state or country may operate a motor vehicle for which he is licensed for the period during which he is in this State;
  3. A nonresident and his spouse and children living with him who is a student at a college or university in Illinois who have a valid license issued by their home State.

I will add that some cities/towns, mainly in the Chicago area, require city stickers. Check with the city to see if they require them. If they do, usually you get 30 days of having the car parked there, to get the sticker.


This student is going to UCF…which I believe is in Florida. has some information about Florida with respect to changing driver’s license and car registration to there for someone who moves there.


The student isn’t “moving” to Florida. The student is a college student at UCF.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but when my kids went to undergrad school, they did not change their state of residency. They did not get drivers licenses and register cars.

In addition, this car belongs to the PARENTS.

The parent needs to call their car insurance company and explain the situation. The parents actually are loaning their kid the car while he is a college student. The insurance company will know THEIR rules.

I don’t know bout Florida @twoinanddone do you? But most states do NOT require full time college students to change the ownership or registration of cars…but this family needs to know if Florida has this requirement.

Where s/he will be living for most of each year.

We’re in the same situation except D is in CA. CA laws are very strict regarding registering a car that’s used in CA, regardless of whether or not it’s owned by people who live out of state. In particular one clause states that if you’re on a lease for housing, then you must register your car in the state. They’re strict because registration can be quite expensive depending on the car, and the state wants the money. By contrast the driver’s license laws are more vague and it doesn’t appear that D needs a CA license as an OOS student.

So we bit the bullet and registered D’s car in CA, but she’s still on her OOS license. Our insurance company required a separate policy since they can’t cross states on a single policy. And OMG insurance costs in D’s zip code are insane - more than double what we pay for our 2 cars at home! The insurance company actually didn’t care where the car was registered, but we wanted to follow CA law and avoid the hassle (and very expensive fines) of D getting a ticket improper registration.

Anyway, not too long ago D’s car was stolen and totalled, so we’re very happy we played everything on the up and up and avoided any potential issues. And I guess now we know why insurance costs are so high in D’s zip code.


For some insurance companies…and in some states IT DOES NOT matter where the STUDENT is most of the time…especially if the car is owned by the parents.

And yes, I’m yelling. Because I thought I made that clear in my post above. This is a student, using their parent car. NOT someone who is moving to a different state.

@anomander this student and parents need to find out what Florida and their insurance company require. That is ALL that matters.

One of our kids used one of our cars in North Carolina while a grad student. This was FINE with our insurance, and was also fine in NC.

But it might not be in Florida.

The car hasn’t been purchased yet. So it is,quite possible the car will be purchased by and titled to, the young adult in this case. Thousands of young adults purchase cars for themselves every year. He can compare insurance rates and policies on his own account compared to remain g on his parents account; in some cases, the cost difference is much less than you think. I know one young man who has an unusual insurance policy that is literally based on each mile driven. So if the car is infrequently used, that works well. Many people also find it cheaper to take uber or rent zip cars than maintain a car-it may be more cost effective.

According to AAA, OOS students attending college in FL need not change their registration. I would double check any info with your insurance agent and DMV.